The Robert S. Chilton, Jr. Papers are a collection of 300 letters, dated mostly between 1897 and 1901, written by Robert S. Chilton, Jr., chief of the U.S. Consular Bureau of the State Department from 1895 until 1905. Chilton wrote eight of the letters, and 292 letters were written to him. Amounting to one box of material (0.5 linear feet), the letters shed light on the issues facing the U.S. consular service at the turn of the twentieth century, when America was in the midst of acquiring an overseas empire and enacting consular reform. Of note, there is comment on the Spanish-American War; material on the evolution of the U.S. consular system; and some correspondence by notable figures in American political history, such as A. Homer Byington, James McMillan, and Montgomery Blair. Also, references to Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley are included in several letters. On the whole, the Robert S. Chilton, Jr. Papers document a significant facet of the history of the U.S. foreign service.
Other letters and documents by and about Robert S. Chilton, Jr. are found in the Hunt-Chilton Collection, which is another manuscript collection preserved in the Georgetown University Library, Special Collections Division.
ABBREVIATIONS: AL - Autograph Letter. ALS - Autograph Letter Signed. AN - Autograph Note. ANS - Autograph Note Signed. CORRESP. - Correspondence. TEL - Telegram. TL - Typed Letter. TLS - Typed Letter Signed. TNS - Typed Note Signed.
BULK DATES: 1892-1905. SPAN DATES: 1897-1901. EXTENT: 1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Status: Open. Photocopies: Permitted.
Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.
Robert S. Chilton, Jr. (1861-1947) served as chief of the U.S. Consular Bureau of the State Department at a time when the consular service was undergoing some important changes. Born on June 19, 1861, Chilton was the son of Robert S. Chilton, Sr. and Mary Virginia (Brent) Chilton. Chilton, Jr. was drawn to government work, serving in turn, as a State Department clerk from 1877 until 1889, the private secretary to Vice President Levi P. Morton from 1889 to 1893, the State Department chief clerk in 1893, and the chief of the U.S. Consular Bureau of the State Department from 1895 until 1905. During 1897 and 1898, he made a tour of American consulates worldwide. From 1905 until October 1913, Chilton, Jr. held the post of U.S. consul at Toronto, Canada. Notably, in 1906, he was a member of the Consular Reorganization Board. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club, the Arts Club, and the Chevy Chase Club in Washington, D.C. (Source: "Who Was Who in America." Vol. 2. Chicago: Marquis, 1950, p. 114).
0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Provenance: Gift of Mr. Lorin W. Tate, 2000. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, February 2001.
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository